4th Supervisor District: Fullerton Mayor Chaffee Makes Six Candidates

doug chaffee AB feat

[Cross-posted from our partner site, OCPolitical.com]

The free-for-all in the Fourth Supervisorial District finally has an official candidate field, with six people running to succeed the termed out Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton), who is running for the open seat in the 39th Congressional District.  Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) pulled papers on Monday and filed Thursday to become the final candidate in the race.  With that, the six candidates are:

  • Budget Analyst Cynthia Aguirre (D-Brea), who is an elected La Habra City School District Board Member, pulled papers on December 27 and filed on Wednesday
  • Mayor, City of Fullerton Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) pulled papers on Monday and filed on Thursday
  • Councilmember Rose Espinoza (D-La Habra) pulled papers on Wednesday (though she had announced in February) and filed on Friday
  • Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Brea), who was the founding President of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, pulled papers on February 13 and filed on March 2
  • Anaheim Councilwoman/Businesswoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim) pulled papers on February 16 and filed on Monday
  • Mayor/Professor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra) pulled papers on January 22 and filed on Thursday

Kring and Chaffee represent the two largest cities in the district.  Anaheim has more registered voters than any other 4th District city, but once voter propensity is taken into account, Kring’s home of Anaheim and Chaffee’s home of Fullerton have are almost dead even in high-propensity voters, with Anaheim slightly ahead of Fullerton (the City of Anaheim is split between two supervisorial districts, with the highest-propensity voters in the 3rd District).  The homes of the other candidates, Brea and La Habra, are far, far behind, as Anaheim and Fullerton voters combined form the majority of the six-city 4th District.

In the last 100 years, the 4th District has only had Supervisors from 3 Cities: Anaheim, Fullerton, and Orange, but Orange has been redistricted to the 3rd District.  Fullerton has the two most recent Supervisors: Shawn Nelson and Chris Norby.  Anaheim had 3 of the 4 Supervisors before that: Cynthia Coad, Don Roth, and Ralph B. Clark (the 1 they didn’t have was Orange’s Bill Steiner).  Orange had the four Supervisors before the Anaheim streak: William H. Hirstein, Willard Smith, Leon O. Whitsell, and Nelson T. Edwards.

Kerr is the only candidate who has never held elected office, but he also sits atop the largest campaign warchest.  As of the last campaign finance reporting period ending December 31, he had $90,627 cash-on-hand, though with $12,576 in unpaid bills, his cash-on-hand came down to $78,051.  While the other five candidates also wield deep roots in the district, Kerr will have to contend with allegations of carpetbagging, as he only became a Brea resident in 2017 after having resided in Coto de Caza for years.

Shaw had $62,196 cash-on-hand, though with $4,353 in unpaid bills, his cash-on-hand came down to $57,843.

Espinoza had $3,514 cash-on-hand, though she had loaned her campaign $10,000, so her campaign was $6,486 in debt.  I’m surprised she used only “Councilmember” as her ballot designation, as “Councilmember/Non-Profit Director” would have enhanced her designation, especially since she has used variations of it in prior bids for Supervisor and City Council.  She is the Executive Director of Rosie’s Garage, a non-profit serving at-risk and underprivileged children.

Despite opening a campaign account for Supervisor in 2017, Aguirre did not file a campaign finance report for 2017.  I am at a loss as to why Aguirre picked “Budget Analyst” as her ballot designation.  I have no idea why she thought that was a better ballot designation than her elected office.  Even if she wanted to stick with Budget Analyst, I don’t understand why she didn’t use “Orange County Budget Analyst” since she is a budget analyst for the County government.

Kring and Chafee entered the race after the last campaign finance reporting period.  Each picked a ballot designation with the names of their cities, so they clearly each hope to use their large home cities as bases to propel them into the top two spots for Supervisor.

The Big Four of this race (in alphabetical order) are: Chaffee, Kerr, Kring, and Shaw.  Chaffee and Kring have the biggest name ID while Kerr and Shaw got a head start in fundraising.  Aguirre and Espinoza have neither.


  1. Kerr IS a carpetbagger and a fake one at that. He’s already re-registered to vote twice!

    Doug Chaffee has led Fullerton to the brink of financial ruin. He’s completely clueless.

    When did Tim Shaw become a “professor.” Professor of what, pray tell?

  2. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Tom Tait’s endorsement can’t carry Shaw to the BOS. That’s ridiculous.

    The most likely outcome is Kring v. Chaffee in November.

    • Tait’s endorsement will be a coffin nail for Kring (who could barely get the (GOP endorsement running against a socialist) in Anaheim. Nobody knows who she is in the rest of the district – which is actually a good thing for her.

      Chaffee is a stand-for-nothing Dem who is despised by Republicans and progressive Dems in Fullerton.

      Try harder. It’s going to be the carpetbagger vs. the Professor.

      • Those are your biases talking. Tait’s endorsement doesn’t have magical powers. It didn’t help Mark Lopez or Arturo Ferreras. It’s not what got Moreno elected, and Barnes squeaked in because the building trades went with Lahtinen instead of Lodge.

        You assume a depth of voter awareness and discernment about Chaffee and Kring that doesn’t exist. The most likely outcome, in my opinion, like it or not, is Kring v Chaffee in November.

        • Your biases (mostly wishful thinking) are talking. Lopez and Ferraras were complete unknowns. It’s a miracle either of them performed as well as they did. Tait’s people won where they needed to despite millions dumped by the unions and the Disney crowd.

          Let’s bet. I’ll even give you odds.

          Kring has virtually no chance. Chaffee has even less.

          • Denise Barnes was an even bigger unknown than either Ferreras or Lopez. And Ferreras had been far more active in D4 that Barnes had been in D1. Both Ferreras and Lopez got a larger percentage of the vote in their districts than Barnes got in hers.

            The difference is she faced a split opposition. Barnes lucked out and squeezed in. That’s the truth, whether you want to face it or not.

    • There’s a battle of municipal financial genius.

      My city is nearly bankrupt.

      No, MY city is nearly bankrupt.

      We’re more bankrupt!

      No, we’re the bankruptest!

      Orange County can’t lose!

  3. I agree Tait’s endorsement is a kiss of death. His legacy as the worst mayor in recent history is being cemented everyday. Tait and Moreno are at it again. There are currently recruitment processes for the city manager and police chief positions. The CM is ahead of the COP because the newly selected city manager should pick the next chief of police. Rumor is interim city manager Linda Andal will select the chief. Why is the city council suddenly in hurry to fill interim positions. HR director and city attorney have gone unfilled for two years. I suspect corruption and favoritism. Tait and Moreno are trying to use their lackey to saddle the city with some under qualified progressive yahoo. The newly seated city manager should pick the new chief not some glorified clerk who is keeping the seat warm.

    • Let’s remember who voted for Moreno as Pro Tem. Who is running against him soon? That Pro Tem title will be used every where to try to get him elected again. He is the worst councilman ever and we must NOT elect him again. Barnes needs to be voted out as well, what an awful representation of Anaheim. They feel their majority slipping and will get hired the Police Chief and City Manager. We need to vote with clarity as to who we are voting for- that includes me.

      That would also no “Gas Tax Newman'” Recall him.

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